Sam is officially finished with his third year of medical school, so what better way to celebrate than to take the first part of his boards? Step 2 of the Boards requires the students to travel to specific locations and have patient encounters. Good news is that it is pass/fail, no grades or scores involved. One of the locations is Los Angeles. We decided a Disneyland trip was in order. With Joey's birthday, Sam's hardest part of medical school over, and our 5 year anniversary this year, we felt the trip was justified. Sam has never been and I haven't been since the age of 5, either, so we were ready to have an adventure and see if Disneyland is worth it.
|We made it in (thanks Kristy for the matchy matchy shirts!)|
|Sleeping Beauty's castle|
|Me and my boys|
|Even ducks take their families to this place!|
|Enjoying our first Dole Whip|
|Life-size Lightning McQueen? Heaven!|
|Waving to Mater|
|Joey was freaked out by Red|
Anywhere that Joey went that monkey was sure to go!
Tomorrowland has really become Star Wars land!
The parade and fireworks had to be the most magical part of Disneyland!
|Everyday I hoped it would get less crowded|
and everyday it got more so.
Last day! Family pic and Mickey's Toon Town
|Can't leave without a pic of the Mouse!|
Sunday, April 24th: 12 hour car ride with a three year old and 4 month old. Enough said. Plus traffic in California. We stayed in a Quality Inn in Anaheim 10 minutes away walking (which was one of our better ideas).
Monday, April 25th: Our first day in Disneyland. We had no idea what to do first or where anything was so there was a lot confusion and bickering. We rode a train and went on a few rides that had short lines, but eventually we split up: Sam would take Joey on rides while I got Fast Passes for Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones ride. I couldn't find Sam after doing that so I took Eli on Pirates by myself. Then I nursed Eli while Sam and Joey took a turn.
Sam took the kids while I went on Indiana Jones first. The line was still super long even with a Fast Pass and single rider. After Pirates, Indiana Jones seemed really short! I was so worried about getting a stroller pass that I forgot my phone on the ride! I ran back through the exit and luckily the cart that came in first was the one I rode, so I didn't have to wait so long. I also got the stroller pass, thank you very much. Sam rode Splash Mountain and I took Joey to eat a Dole Whip (can I say yum?). We went back to the hotel, ate lunch, then went back to swap rides and use our stroller pass.
In the late afternoon we went to go see a Disney Junior show at California Adventures. Joey doesn't watch the Disney channel, but that morning we turned it on for him while getting ready and he already recognized all the characters! We finally got to see Joey really having fun. We walked into Bugs Land for a ride and Joey played in a splash pad for a little bit. For dinner we stopped by Cars Land and ate at Flo's Cafe. The best food I had on the trip in my opinion and Joey was in heaven. While Sam took Joey to see Lightning McQueen I watched a little show starring one of the other cars. Sam said Joey kept saying "Big McQueen! Eyes!" (the eyes moved on all the cars there). He loved it until he had to say hi and he got a little shy, but you could tell he was really enjoying himself.
It was getting cold and even rainy so we headed back for the night to rest up for the next day. So many people, but my sister said this would probably be the busiest day and it would get better from there. Hahahahahaha.
Tuesday, April 26th: We decided to use our Magic Morning this day and I thought it would be less crowded. If anything it felt even more crowded! We headed off to Tomorrowland, and it felt a little different than the rest of Disneyland in terms of how it was run. Sam let me go on Space Mountain first (only a twenty minute wait) while he watched the kids. Sam went on a rocket ride with both kids in tow, and it was a lot of work for him, especially since they required socks or shoes so Sam had to put Joey's socks on Eli. Space Mountain was Star War-ized, so it was just like being part of the Rebellion in Episode 4. I asked where to get a stroller pass, went there, and found out that I was supposed to ask first thing and have Sam there to show that we did indeed have little kids. So Sam never got to go on it (the wait became 45 minutes). He decided later to get a Fast Pass but it was during the parade, so he decided against it. Sam rode the Star Tours ride instead and got a stroller pass while I ran over to California Adventures at 9am when it opened to get a Radiator Springs Fast Pass. I waited 15-20 minutes just for it, but we got it.
After Sam went on Star Tours he came over and rode on a Tractor ride with Joey. We shared a Ghirardelli milk shake and then explored the Pier for some fun stuff to do. All we really did was ride a Merry-Go-Round, but it was fun none-the-less. Sam rode Radiator Springs while I went home with the kids. After lunch I rode Star Tours while Sam went through a Star Wars museum with Joey. Star Tours made me the most sick, for sure. After I rode Star Tours we watched the Jedi Training show (really cute), got a strawberry lemonade, then went back to the hotel. At some point we rode Bug's Land rides and I rode Radiator Springs--it had to be my favorite ride! They did a really good job with it. We planned on seeing the Parade today and thought showing up a little over an hour before the show would get us decent seats. After a mix up and standing firm ground, we got Joey a front row seat to see the whole thing. We met a nice family we chatted with before the show. The parade and fireworks show is worth it! It was around this time that I realized all that Disneyland had to offer and why it was priced as much as it was. Also when it felt the most magical.
Wednesday, April 27th: Sam wanted to attend a webinar about Air Force residencies, so I went to get Fast Passes with Joey for the World of Color show at California Adventures. The Fast Pass machine was broken so the man was just handing them out. We rode the tractor ride again. Later Sam met with me at Disneyland, where I SAW HIM PUT OUR DISNEYLAND TICKETS IN HIS WALLET WITH THE WORLD OF COLOR TICKETS. He confirms this too. We rode Peter Pan (I got a Dole Whip to share in the 40 minute line), nursed Eli in the Finding Nemo line, then went back to the hotel to eat lunch.
However, when we decided to head to Disneyland, Sam reached into his wallet at the lines and our tickets were gone! The World of Color fast passes were still there, so it was so weird. Sam decided to check our hotel room while I walked through Disney Downtown District to look at souvenirs with the kids. Sam called and said he couldn't find our tickets, so after a thorough search of our bags and stroller, I found the Lost and Found to see if anyone picked up our tickets if they fell. The lady was really nice and said that was their number one lost item. We could get our tickets back if we had a receipt. Sam e-mailed me the confirmation, but it didn't count. I told her about the World of Color tickets and she said she could track our tickets (but since the guy was just handing them out our Fast Passes weren't linked to our tickets). Just when I was about to lose hope Sam said he had the Space Mountain Fast Pass he got from the day before and the lady said that would work. :D Whew, so Sam ran back with that Fast Pass, we got new tickets, and then finished off our Disneyland trip.
We toured Sleeping Beauty's Castle. I wanted to get a picture with a Princess with Eli, but when I saw the line, I was like NOPE. We also went to Mickey's Toon Town. We could have done more rides, but we felt done. Mickey's Toon Town was really fun for all of us, though. The lines for everything was just getting long, so being able to do something without waiting in line was just what we needed. We went back to Downtown District to eat dinner (not our brightest idea: it's rude to walk out of a restaurant after seeing the prices so we ended paying $40 for a pizza). After dinner we went to California Adventures to wait for the World of Color show. We met an awesome Mormon family next to us and talked about how easy it is to pick out Mormons at Disneyland (my favorite game waiting in line). The World of Color show was also amazing. Whoever choreographs these things should get a medal. It was the perfect ending to our Disneyland experience.
Thursday, April 28th: We wanted to relax this day and let Sam study for his test the next day. We did make a trip to Newport Beach. However, it was so cold we stayed for 15 minutes and called it good. We then swam in our pool...for all of 15 minutes because it too was cold. Not much else about this day...
Friday, April 29th: Sam had his test really close to where my brother lives, so I dropped Sam off, went back to the hotel to take a nap (almost crashed into another car by taking a peak at the GPS and looked up in time to see that traffic completely stopped on the freeway), went to a park and Target, then headed back to pick up Sam. He said he probably passed so that's good, right?
We went to Big 5 to pick out running shoes, went to the coolest little fruit picking park, then headed to my brother's for a dinner at Cafè Rio. LA has some good stuff and good weather, folks. We played a game of Quirkle then headed back to the hotel to pack for the ride home.
Saturday, April 30th: Poor Sam, drove 12 hours only to hop on a plane the next day. The weather was really scary and I didn't feel comfortable driving, or taking screaming Eli out of his carseat.
You did it! We loved the trip, but between small kids and the awful crowds, it could have been more awesome. But it couldn't have been better weather and we got to see some cool stuff, so we're happy.